A shift toward online learning has initiated research into how curriculum design developed by higher education institutions might adapt to this trend. A research team led by Mohini Tellakat based at the University of Texas wanted to explore how online students study, in their paper published by the Journal, PLOS One.
The team analysed the psychology of study behaviour in students, while they interacted with online course content by measuring mouse clicks in the Learning Management System (LMS), for example, videos, chat rooms, quizzes, study material, previous exams and study tips. They wanted to find out whether patterns in “clicking” behaviour reflected the students individual method of learning and academic performance at the end of the semester.
Of note, students "clicking" behaviour in the morning, afternoon and evening, combined with where students were clicking on screen in the LMS at those times of activity, correlated positively with student results. The researchers reported the behaviour of students studying online could be used to improve the learning design of online courses. But for an in depth discussion about the methods and results of the study, please follow the link to the paper How do online learners study? The psychometrics of students’ clicking patterns in online courses.